EXTERNAL AI Index: ASA 21/63/96
UA 217/96 Fear of torture and ill-treatment 5 September 1996
Amnesty International fears for the safety of Suwigno, who was arrested in
Jakarta on 3 September 1996 and whose whereabouts remain unknown.
Suwigno was seen being arrested outside the Megaria Cinema in Menteng, Jakarta
after he had visited the Indonesian Legal Aid Institute in Jalan Diponegoro.
He is believed to have been arrested for his alleged connections with the
unofficial political group Partai Rakyat Demokratik (PRD). Amnesty
International does not know whether he was arrested by police or military
officers, but fears that he is being held in military custody. It is assumed
that he does not have access to lawyers, placing him at serious risk of
ill-treatment or torture, as is frequent in political cases in Indonesia.
At least 163 individuals have been called in for questioning or arrested since
the raid on the headquarters of the Democratic Party of Indonesia (PDI) on
27 July. Many of those arrested, in particular student activists alleged to
be involved with the PRD or its affiliated organizations, have been arrested
by unidentified officers and detained in military custody where they have been
denied access to lawyers and family members, before being surrendered to the
police. Some of those who have been held in both military and police custody
have been beaten and tortured.
Riots broke out in Jakarta on 27 and 28 July 1996 after the security forces
raided the headquarters of the PDI. As many as 241 people were arrested as
a direct result of the raid and subsequent riots. At least five and possibly
seven people are believed to have died and up to 149 are thought to have been
Since then, the Indonesian Government has issued threats against individuals
and non-governmental organizations which it alleges played a role in the riots.
The PRD, in particular, has been singled out for its alleged role in
orchestrating the riots and has been accused by the authorities of having
communist links. (For further information see Indonesia: Raid on PDI Office,
ASA 21/46/96, 28 July 1996; Indonesia: PDI Raid: Update, ASA 21/48/96, 30 July,
and PDI Raid: Reprisals Continue, ASA 21/56/96, 9 August).
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express/airmail
letters in Bahasa Indonesia or your own language:
- appealing to the authorities to release information about the exact
whereabouts of Suwigno, arrested in Jakarta on 3 September 1996, and the charges
- urging that he be allowed immediate and continuing access to a lawyer of
his choice and to his family;
- requesting guarantees that he not be subjected to torture or any other form
of ill-treatment in detention;
- urging that, if he is being held for his non-violent political activities,
he be immediately and unconditionally released.
ARMY CHIEF OF STAFF